Running and jumping through the gardens of the Underworld she went, faeries tumbling along and laughing in their own raspy high-pitched way. They followed their princess, their friend. Specks of golden pollen shimmered on her bronze skin as her dark curls bounced behind her.

She is going to see her oldest friend, the Faun. No one else is more trusted, or more dear to Moanna. Ever since their first meeting, she has always felt drawn to him. She found the tingle of old magic so alluring, the smell it left on your skin and the biting coppery taste left standing in your mouth. When she was still Ofelia, the Faun's magic had been faint and distant, but now back within the boundaries of its original realm, the effect was mesmerizing and more potent than any drug.

Also, the Faun's appearance was more handsome and vibrant in his natural habitat. Even though he had grown younger toward the swelling of the full moon those many years ago, it still did not compare to his new rejuvenated self. In the place of his wispy white locks were golden coils of hair. His eyes were as bright as sapphires in the night, and as piercing as daggers. Moanna loved his eyes the most, especially the feeling of him seeing straight into her soul. Even his stature and posture had been transformed. Instead of being bent and gnarled like a willow, he now stood tall and strong. So many different muscles could be seen while he moved that sometimes the princess wondered if there were really gears and machinery underneath. However, a simple glimpse into his hypnotic blue eyes dismissed all doubts of nonexistence.

Running, and now panting, Moanna dove through the untamable rose bushes that hid the Faun's cavern home. Inside, the air was electrified with the taint of his magic. Distant drips from shadow-hidden stalactites echoed along with the revered step of her boot. Any unnecessarily loud noise seemed to be a crime among these silent walls so she tried her very best to pay them their respect.

Once through the darkened corridor, the cave swelled into a vast cavern filled with warm honeyed firelight. In the very center of the room, lounged on a bed of roses, the Faun played a familiar tune on his pan flute made of gold.

Moanna walked in time to the music, pausing to sway and dance a little as she hummed along with the melody. Upon her arrival, the Faun's eyes flashed like lightening toward her own black eyes. Gracefully he stood, still playing, but now more vigorously. He slowly started to circle about her while she turned to keep facing him. They dance methodically at first, each step measured and relaxed. However, the Faun began to play faster and faster, in turn causing the dance to become more chaotic and unpredictable. All Moanna could do was gaze into those haunting eyes as the music penetrated into her soul, taking over every inch of her. Round and round, the outside world becoming a blur, only the two left existing, finally merging into one with one final shrill trill and then—


The stillness crushed them both to lie on the flowery bed, heads spinning and panting from exhaustion. The Faun gazed heavily into Moanna's midnight eyes, drinking in the contents of her being. If only she knew…

… If only she knew how much he burned for her.